05 27 2015

Sheriff’s office gets new mobile command unit

By Britne Reeves
Staff Writer

In a quick commissioners meeting Jan. 14, Fire Marshall Chuck Allen approached the Van Zandt County commissioners with a request to purchase a new mobile command unit.
According to Allen, the current mobile command unit is in less than desirable condition.
“Back in December, we had an opportunity to replace our mobile command post that is practically obsolete. It is pretty much dangerous to be on the street. The doors come open when it goes down the highway,” Allen said. “The total amount of grant funds that have become available is $70,578.38 that is being reallocated. We found a 1999 Bluebird bus in Las Vegas from Meridian Specialty Vehicles that was for sale that was already fitted out for our needs.”
The bus is 40 feet long with seating for up to 18, has a conference room, a galley, a 20-foot awning that comes out, a NEC DSX PBX phone system and four flat screen TVs, Allen said. “The only thing we will have to do to is install new radios that are already on the old command unit. We are getting a good deal, it is valued at almost $500,000 and we are getting it for a fraction of that,” he said. “This is a vital necessity that we need; we can use it to protect lives and provide further safety to everyone in the county.”
The commissioners approved the purchase the new mobile command unit.

In other news of the court:
—The commissioners granted permission to purchase automobiles with the balance from the original $125,000 loans for the sheriff’s department by seeking bids.
—Approval was granted to the Sheriff’s Office to increase revenue line items and increase expenditure line items due to excess revenue. According to County Judge Rhita Koches, the sheriff’s office asked to increase four line item expenditures by $3,721.06 and then increase miscellaneous expenses in the same amount.
—Discussed and approved the Texas County lateral road and bride expenditure report for the fiscal year 2013.
—Authorized the office of the Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney to submit applications for the VOCA/VAWA grant funding for victim assistance through the criminal justice division of the governor’s office administered by the East Texas Council of Governments and through the Criminal Justice Advisory Committee.
Koches told commissioners that “there are funds available for victim’s assistance and this could help fund a program for victims.”
The commissioners authorized the district attorney’s office to submit an application for grants.


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